Welcome from the Student Bar Association

by Bianca Slota ‘16, SBA President

I speak for the Student Bar Association and as a representative of our entire student body when I say we are happy you are here. We are glad you chose to spend the next several years at UConn Law and we look forward to meeting you over the coming weeks.

These first few days will seem like a whirlwind, with so much to take in and learn. Your SBA is here to help. Our purpose is to represent your interests to the administration, to foster a sense of community on campus, to help you create connections with alumni, and to ensure that every student has the opportunity to succeed. You will meet many of our members at Orientation. Remember our faces—we will remind you of our names—and feel free to come to us at any time with questions or concerns you may have when starting this new and exciting chapter of your academic and professional lives.

In the next week or two, you will be invited to attend the Student Organization Fair, where you can learn about and join any of the more than 40 student organizations on campus. I encourage you to get involved with any that interest you. Law school is an incredible adventure. It is among the most challenging and rewarding things you can do, so getting involved with student groups outside the classroom greatly enhances the experience. It is also the best way to start networking.

You will soon find that the word “networking” is used frequently in law school. I cannot stress enough the importance of this skill. Make a point to talk to fellow students, to alumni, to professors, and to the dozens of employers who visit our campus each year. Find common ground and build relationships. Get involved with the Connecticut Bar Association (it’s free!), the American Bar Association (it’s free!), and the various local and affinity bar associations. Although you are just starting out, before you know it you will be searching for your first summer job, and from there, a career. There is no better time to start building your network than right now, and there are no better people to learn from than those who have been in your shoes.

I also encourage you to start thinking about whether you might like to be an SBA Class Representative. Elections for the 1L and L.L.M. class reps take place in only a few short weeks. Being a class representative is a great way to make a difference for yourself and your classmates, and to leave a lasting impression at UConn Law.

Finally, remember to breathe. The first semester is overwhelming but you are not alone. All faculty, staff, and upperclassmen are here for you. My years at UConn Law have been some of the best of my life. I am optimistic you will feel the same.

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Parking Changes Coming to UConn Law

By Sidd Sinha

Beginning in July, law school professors will need to pay for an “Area 2” parking permit. The rates are adjusted based on salary and are broken down in the chart below that was e-mailed out by the UConn Professional Employees Association (UCEPA):

 

Salary Rate % Daily Bi-weekly Semester Annual
$37,500.00 and less 50% $0.42 $4.17 $108.50
$37,501.00-$64,500.00 75% $0.63 $6.26 $162.75
$64,501.00 and up 100% $0.83 $8.35 $217.00

 

Currently, there is little information on the change that is taking place. Faculty still have the option to park on the street but the new enforcement does the raise the question of ticketing in general. Students are required to purchase a parking pass each year but no tickets have been seen issued for anyone parking without a permit.

Furthermore, there is little information available about any need to acquire parking passes for events that have guests come to the Law School or speakers that are only present on the campus for the day. The exact details have not been released but the passes will be transferable in some degree across regional campuses and garages. More information is likely to be released as the change takes place at the beginning of the fiscal year this coming summer.

 

 

Professor Spotlight: Molly Land

By Adam Colorado

In a hybridization of human rights law and intellectual property, Professor Molly Land’s research sheds light on the technologies that can provide mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights.

Among Land’s current research projects is a concept known as the right to be forgotten. This term is used to describe the right of people to be free from present or future harm that could result from past personal history, accessed through online search engines for example. In other words, the question presented is whether a person should be free to live his or her current life without having their past held against them. “That I have a privacy or dignitary right to be able to control the information or picture of me they see on the internet,” explained Land.

This concept “raises the larger questions about, should we think about privacy in that way?,” said Land.

In one example, Land noted that the European Court of Justice found that the petitioner had the right to ask Google to de-index certain information that was no longer relevant to whom the petitioner was as a person today.

The case raised concerns about the burden on search engines to remove that type of content; Google has received many requests to remove similar content that people do not like or do not want posted. Land also noted there was a concern with accountability because there would be private companies making decisions about free speech.

While this issue is the immediate focus of Land’s research, she has previously studied other matters regarding the intersection of technology and human rights. This fusion of technology and human rights stems from Land’s own background; she formerly worked in IP litigation, but was trained as human rights lawyer. Land found a way to unite these distinct areas and carve out a specialty within human rights law.

“People are experimenting with all sorts of different technologies to document human rights violations”, stated Land. This has included research on the use of GPS devices to map terrain that would protect economic, cultural and social rights including the right to water.

Additionally, a smart phone app with a “panic button” was developed with the idea that, when activated, it would send a rapid message reporting a human rights violation, such as in cases of detention.

Land notes that there is a crucial 48-hour timeframe after the initial detention, where it is most vital to respond. These types of technologies would allow for rapid responses that allow for more openness, and importantly, more local information. The disadvantages would be that there are security concerns with using these devices in particular geographic locations.

“Even in the US we should have technology that protects our rights, rather than makes it easier for the government for violate our rights,” said Land.

 

Student Spotlight: Brendan Gooley

By Yekaterina Bychko

Brendan Gooley ’15, recently landed a clerkship on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to complement his upcoming Connecticut Supreme Court clerkship, earning his spot for this month’s student spotlight.

Gooley started law school straight after undergrad at UConn Storrs and chose UConn Law because of his Husky pride. During his time at UConn Law, Gooley has been a member of the Connecticut Law Review, serving as the current Managing Editor, and is a member of the Connecticut Moot Court Board, having recently returned from a competition hosted by Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana.

After graduating this coming May, Gooley will be clerking for the Honorable Andrew J. McDonald on the Connecticut Supreme Court. The following year he will begin clerking with the Honorable Christopher F. Droney on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

When asked what helped him reel in such prestigious positions, Gooley stressed the value of good recommendations and reiterated a common theme at UConn Law: fostering good relationships. Additionally he modestly added, “a little bit of luck never hurt anybody.” Gooley also stated that his experience on Connecticut Law Review improved his writing skills tremendously and that writing is probably the most essential skill an employer is looking for.

Gooley explained that the process to obtain clerkships began the spring of his 2L year, which is also when he interned with a federal judge. Gooley credits that experience with solidifying his interest in obtaining a post-graduation clerkship. Gooley applied and received the offer for a state clerkship in June following his 2L year. He applied for and received the offer for the federal clerkship during the fall of his 3L year.

We wish Gooley the best of luck and success in the future!

 

Annual Loiselle Moot Court Competition

By Nina Pelc-Faszcza

Did you enjoy Moot Court this winter or want another chance to practice and improve your oral advocacy skills? Do you want to participate in a fun and highly respected on-campus competition? If any of the above describes you, then sign up to participate in the annual Alva P. Loiselle Moot Court Competition! Loiselle is one of two annual intrascholastic moot court competitions at UConn Law, both of which are great opportunities to practice your oral advocacy skills as well as to gain membership on the Connecticut Moot Court Board.

Unlike the winter-term Moot Court course, the Loiselle competition is a closed-universe team competition (and more good news: no brief!); all participants will compete in teams of two, and are given an opportunity to argue both sides of the case. The top four teams and a handful of individuals with the highest preliminary round scores will be offered membership on the Moot Court Board.

The Moot Court Board is a student-run organization comprised of individuals who achieve distinction in appellate advocacy. Membership on the Board carries with it an academic transcript designation, the opportunity to participate in regional and national moot court competitions (for which you can receive academic credit), and the opportunity to judge future competitions. Board membership and competing in Loiselle are highly valued by many employers.

The Loiselle problem packet will be released to competitors shortly after Spring Break, and preliminary rounds will take place from April 6th to April 10th. Teams that make it to the final rounds will have the unique opportunity to present their oral argument in front of an esteemed panel of judges, including justices of the Connecticut Supreme Court and Connecticut Appellate Court.

If you have any interest in oral or appellate advocacy, please sign up for Loiselle! Stay tuned for emails with further details about the competition, and feel free to email Milan Moore at milan.moore@uconn.edu with any questions you may have about the competition in the meantime.